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Raw Wine by The Counter Press, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logotype, letterpress business cards, stationery and brochures by The Counter Press for international wine fair Raw Wine

Raw Wine is an international two-day wine fair that takes place in the cities of LA, London, Berlin and New York. It was founded by Deborah Lambert and Isabelle Legeron MW, France’s only female master of wine, and provides an opportunity for growers, makers and buyers to get together. Raw Wine is also a celebration of the best organic, biodynamic and natural wines from around the world, produced with the lowest intervention possible. It brings to light, for a new audience, the enduring traditions of wine making, and pushes back against increasing industrialisation, additive use and the shortcuts that come with larger volumes.

London-based studio and workshop The Counter Press, working in collaboration with brand consultant Dan Rowe, created a new visual identity for Raw Wine that captures the character and nuance of wine, the individuality of those that make up the artisan community, expresses a connection with natural low intervention wine production, and intends to engage a new audience. This is achieved in the idiosyncrasies of wood type and the extensive use of letterpress, alongside a bespoke logotype, modern iconography and unbleached substrates. These link business cards, catalogues, signage, glassware, bags, posters and soon to launch website.

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The Broadview Hotel by Blok, Canada

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity designed by Blok for Toronto's The Broadview Hotel

The Broadview Hotel is located within one of Toronto’s most recognisable architectural landmarks. This was built in 1891 by a wealthy businessman who recognised the strategic importance of the East End as the city was expanding. It has been home to a business centre, acted as a political and social hub, and used as a hotel, boarding room and more recently, a strip club.

The building, over the last two years, has undergone extensive restoration and renovation, and now features a distinctive glass structure and new floor on the roof. This was done with great consideration for the original architectural details. Interior design, created by DesignAgency is inspired by the local community and is infused with a contemporary yet old-world grace. The hotel is made up of public spaces and 58 private bedrooms. These are peppered with what is described as a witty eclecticism that pays homage to the building’s past, with certain rooms featuring the original brass poles from the strip club. These homages are set alongside modern finishes and amenities.

Canadian graphic design studio Blok worked with the hotel to develop a visual identity that would embrace and express the building’s contemporary new voice, possess a similar wit and attitude, and finally acknowledge and celebrate the hotel’s East End roots. This is achieved in the contrast and collision of image and type, emphasised by a simple colour palette, and in the variety of secondary typefaces. This run across and links a plethora of printed assets. These included business cards, menus and coasters as documents here, but also wayfinding and signage.

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Omakase Room by Tatsu by Savvy, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity and scented ceramic gift by Savvy for New York restaurant Omakase Room by Tatsu

Omakase Room by Tatsu is a unique sushi dining experience located on New York’s Christopher Street. The concept is rooted in the centuries-old family traditions of Japanese Executive Chef and host Tatsu Sekiguchi and the celebration of the individual and personal. This can be experienced in the restaurant’s unique and intimate setting, one that seats only eight, and a menu carefully crafted by Tatsu for one evening and for that specific group of eight, based on their mood, curiosities and preferences.

The restaurant features a light interior design of soft bamboo and fabric centred around Japanese minimalist traditions. Materials a few but high quality, the ceiling is low, and the design of the table and layout of chairs lend the restaurant a quiet and earthy material quality with little distraction, and establish an intimacy with the chef, and focuses the mind on the food.

Building on this, design studio Savvy developed a multi-sensory brand identity, with a similar restraint, materiality and discretion. This offers something of its own subtle character but does not detract from the food, while also working in small thoughtful details such as scent and semi-transparent paper that links type with interior. The project included menus, stationery, business cards and a ceramic gift.

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